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Dining out

We discovered an exciting new restaurant that serves wood fired Neapolitan style pizza and uses locally sourced and organic greens in their salads.  With a brick oven in the back of the dining room where we watched the flicker of firelight as cooks placed another pie inside to bake, Antico’s Pizzeria and Wine Bar offered both inviting atmosphere and authentic food cooked with passion and experience.  On the menu we found a variety of meals, with a particularly impressive list of ingredients to choose from when creating our own pizzas.  Fresh basil, thyme, rosemary, roasted potatoes, eggplant, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and arugula are just a few of the many hearty toppings available.  Moreover, for vegans the restaurant offers Daiya cheese (and uses just the right amount to top their vegan pizzas).  I am also delighted with the owners’ integration of traditional Turkish dishes that reflect their heritage such as Tulumaki,  lavash, white bean salad, honey garlic hummus, and a perfectly tiny, rich cup of Turkish coffee.  I admit we have eaten there a couple of times already.  We topped our first pizza with Daiya cheese, thick slices of eggplant, red onion, and basil.  Only at home, picked from our own garden have I ever tasted such fresh basil.  The cooks really celebrate food and let their natural flavors speak; we also found small, whole leaves of licorice-sweet basil in our mixed greens salad (along with baby arugula, spinach, and maybe even dandelion greens).  We have heard from one of the owner’s herself that she enjoys taking a drive out to the nearby farms to pick up the local produce.  More recently, we topped a pizza lightly with a delicious San Marzano red sauce, slices of roasted potato (rustic skins left on), a liberal sprinkling of fresh, deep green thyme, and garlic.  Will and I shared aforementioned cup of coffee, relishing the complex flavors down to the bitter grounds that collected at the bottom.  Oven warmed mixed nuts topped with tons of quality cinnamon rounded out our meal and proved the right accompaniment to our coffee.  I loved how the ruddy spice collected on my fingertips, as well as the natural oiliness of the nuts set against the drier nature of salad greens and coffee.  We’re so satisfied!

Have you had any memorable dining experiences lately?

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9 thoughts on “Dining out

  1. Mmm, sounds like quite the delectable experience! My boyfriend and I recently split fried calamari, crispy half-duck (two things I had never tried before), and a goat cheese salad. We ended up liking the salad best, believe it or not, and attempted to recreate it this weekend! It was a perfect mesh of flavors: tangy warm goat cheese, peppery arugula, sweet apple and onion, and pistachios all tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette. Simply divine.

    Have you ever eaten at Bosphorous in Winter Park? Renowned local Turkish food, and I am sure they have vegan options.

    1. That salad does sound great — I love the pairing of arugula with sweet apple and onion. I bet the crunch and pop of color that the pistachios lend was also delicious. I actually have been to Bosphorous in Winter Park, but a very long time ago! I’d like to go again and see what vegan foods they offer. I’m glad you’re enjoying such lovely meals with your boyfriend. We’ll catch up soon — good to hear from you!

  2. OMG. Will you take me there? *_*

    That pizza sounds fantastic. I just ate lunch before I read your blog, thank goodness, but I’m still kind of drooling over your descriptions of the pizza. It sounds like a wonderful place.

    Ummm, what did I eat? OH. I sent to Applebee’s last weekend, and I hadn’t been back in such a long time. It’sthe only place I order pasta out, because they do amzing things with the three-cheese chicken penne (the tomato bruchetta they top the pasta with is the most epic part).

    And they had a new pretzel with beer cheese dip appetizer – so good. I don’t like cheer at all, but beer and cheese is strangely tasty. I continue to be suprised by flavor combinations 🙂

    1. Pretzel with beer cheese dip! That sounds like a lot of fun and satisfying in so many ways. We will go to Antico’s together next time you’re in town, after we’re done antiquing… 😉

  3. I LOVE a pizza with potatoes on, especially when there’s also feta with slightly burnt edges and lots of rosemary… As to your question, sadly we didn’t have a lot of dining out experiences lately that we didn’t make just in order not to have to cook our own meal after a stressful day at work. It’s been quite a while since we just went out for fun – your post reminds me we have to do this again soon.

    1. Yum!! I know, I love potatoes with rosemary, too! One of the first meals Will cooked for me was a heart shaped potato pizza, so we have a lot of good memories with them. BTW I keep going back to that bread recipe you posted recently and drooling! Love the splotches of emerald green pesto on the soft looking slices… Mmm!

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